More than $2 million in suspected heroin, fentanyl and cocaine, over $800,000 cash and two firearms recovered
Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced today the arrest and indictment of 14 individuals in connection with an alleged drug delivery service that primarily catered to customers in southern Brooklyn and made up to $8,000 in sales each day.
A 73-count indictment filed by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor charges two alleged supervisors of the drug delivery service, WILLIAM BARROUS and EMMANUEL BATISTA, with Operating as a Major Trafficker under New York State’s drug kingpin statute. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez reviewed and submitted multiple wiretap applications for court authorization. The indictment announced today supersedes a previous indictment that was unsealed on December 12, 2018.
The long-term investigation was conducted by the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Narcotics Borough Brooklyn South and involved over 50 sales to undercover officers between February 10, 2017 and November 30, 2018. The delivery service overseen by BARROUS and BATISTA operated in shifts between 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days per week. Customers were centered in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park and Mill Basin. Drugs sold included heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and prescriptions pills.
BARROUS is scheduled for arraignment today before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Abraham Clott, Part 61, 111 Centre Street. BATISTA and 10 other defendants are scheduled for arraignment on January 31, 2019, while two were arraigned last week.
The majority of the arrests occurred on December 12, 2018, at which time police conducted a series of court authorized searches. At BARROUS’s residence in Fresh Meadows, Queens, police recovered two loaded guns and seven kilograms (15 pounds) of heroin and cocaine. The narcotics would have yielded millions of dollars in street-level sales. The residence, located at 71-59 160th Street, Apt. 4A, served as a stash house for the drug ring. Police recovered over $796,000 cash from a safe and shoeboxes in a bedroom, including bags of cash that bore markings indicating a day of the week and shift number. Police also seized ammunition, drug packaging equipment and a large quantity of jewelry.
During a search of BATISTA’s residence, located at 131-01 40th Road, Apt. 17D in Flushing, Queens, police seized quantities of heroin and cocaine, nearly $7,500 cash, expensive jewelry, designer handbags and a Land Rover.
The investigation revealed that the delivery service allegedly sold between $4,000 and $8,000 in narcotics each day for up to $50,000 per week. BATISTA allegedly oversaw the daily operations of the delivery service. In setting up sales, members of the delivery service provided customers with a phone number that connected them to a “dispatcher,” generally BATISTA or FRANGEL TEJADA. Upon receiving an order, the dispatcher then used a different phone to call one of several runners to deliver narcotics to the customer.
The highly organized delivery service operated in two daily shifts, with two runners per shift covering a portion of the delivery service’s territory. ALBERTO HENRIQUEZ allegedly served as a driver and runner for the delivery service, using a car registered to BATISTA to pick up runners from their homes in Queens and transport them to the delivery service’s operating area. HENRIQUEZ would also use the car, which was outfitted with a trap, to store and transport narcotics and narcotics proceeds.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, and commended the work of the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Narcotics Borough Brooklyn South and her office’s Trial Division.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Brennan said, “The accused drug kingpins who headed this drug delivery service were businessmen who cared only for their bottom line: profits. They oversaw a workforce that commuted from Queens to Brooklyn seven days per week and worked in shifts. Showing utter disregard for the damage inflicted on customers’ lives, the ring sold more than $100,000 in heroin, cocaine and the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl each month. Money was the sole concern as evidenced by bags of cash recovered from one of the drug ring’s leaders.”
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said, “Today, opioids are a larger threat to American lives than vehicle crashes and gun violence, and this crisis demands our full and highly-focused attention. To that end, I want to commend and thank the members of the NYPD’s Narcotics Borough Brooklyn South, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, the Brooklyn District Attorney, the Queens District Attorney, and all the investigators and attorneys who worked on this important case. Together with all of our law-enforcement partners, we are relentlessly working to rid our city of illegal drugs, and bring those who would seek to profit from their proliferation to justice.”
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “This is another example of alleged drug dealers profiting off of those whose lives have often been devastated by or lost to addiction without concern for the harm they cause in the communities where they sell these illegal narcotics. The opioid crisis has hit this section of Brooklyn hard and so I commend the Special Narcotics Prosecutor and all of our law enforcement partners for focusing resources on ending this drug delivery service.”
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, “The proliferation of deadly drugs in our communities is a battle we must continue to fight. Those who profit from dealing heroin and cocaine in our neighborhoods will not prosper. My office will continue to work diligently with police and prosecutors to stop those who pollute our City with poison. I want to commend all those who worked on this investigation and pledge my continued support to round up drug dealers and lock them up.”
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.Download Press Release
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office
New York City Police Department